When It Feels Like Home


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(Please note, if you are new to this blog, you may want to read this blog post first, for better understanding.)

Over the years, MOTH and I have traveled quite a bit together, generally within the U.S. We’ve enjoyed most of the places we’ve visited, many so much so that we welcome repeat visits. There is one place in particular that we share a mutual love of, and have made many trips there over the years. That place is Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina.

We go there to visit dear friends, the sort that are comfortable to be with whether you saw them last week or ten years prior, whether talking excitedly over one another or sitting quietly, each in our own thoughts. MOTH and I know that during our visits to Sullivan’s Island, we can always count not only on good company, but beautiful and peaceful surroundings.

During our trips to the island, we walk the beach in the mornings, enjoy breakfast on the deck, lounge by the pool, nap in the hammock, take a golf cart cruise around the island in the early evening. We dine out at one of the island’s restaurants or drive into Charleston, leaving at least one night to fire up the grill. No two visits are exactly alike…there has been golf, there have been plantation visits and historical tours, there has been shopping…but we can always count on the relaxing and the laughing.

The last few times we’ve been there, MOTH and I have talked about the fact that, it’s not just our friends and the island that makes the trip so special, but the house itself. There’s something about it that speaks to us, makes us feel like we belong there, as if it were our home in another lifetime or another dimension.

We were there again a couple of weeks ago. On our first morning, as we prepared for our early morning beach walk, we began to speak again of the house and how much we loved everything about it…it’s lay out and design, the use of the square footage, the outdoor living space. All of it…we love all of it. What’s more, the house on Middle Street sits on a wonderful corner lot.

To get to the beach, we walk a handful of blocks, straight down the road to the side of the house. Once we reach the beach, we remove our shoes and leave them at the post marked with the name of the street from which we just walked…the beach’s equivalent of a street sign. Then, MOTH and I head in the direction of the lighthouse, walking close to the edge, assuring that the Atlantic nurtures our souls in all ways possible. I collect seashells along the way, we pet wet dogs and laugh at their antics, nod hello to and exchange smiles with strangers, comment on the changing shoreline, and simply enjoy feeling the wet sand between our toes.

Once we’re close to reaching the lighthouse, we change our direction and head back the way we came. The return walk is more of the same, only this time, the morning sun is in our faces instead of on our backs. Eventually, we veer away from the water toward our marker and as we approach, I glance up at the sign. I can hardly believe my eyes…and yet, the only thing that truly surprises me is that I’ve never noticed it before now.

I stop short at what I see.


Our shoes, parked in a delightful and unsurprising spot.

“Station 29,” I say out loud, as if to confirm, and then I turn to MOTH.

He gives me a knowing smile and says, “I guess wherever we end up retiring, it’ll have to involve the number 29.”

“Yes,” I say. “Definitely.”


More Animal Love


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More proof: they really do like me!

Not just mammals…even turtles are flocking toward me at breakneck speed, at least where turtles are concerned. I don’t think it’s my imagination…it’s as if Paul Revere himself were spreading the news of my vegan ways.

Lessons in Laundry


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For years, I had a little hand painted sign with the message, “Moms like me are hard to find, but chances are you’ll find me in the laundry room.” Our family has an ongoing joke about how much time I spend doing laundry. (Perhaps the joke is actually on me?) To make matters worse, anyone who’s in charge of the household laundry knows that it’s never really done. No sooner do you fold the last piece and someone is stripping off a sweaty t-shirt, on his way to the shower. There’s a dark comedy screenplay just waiting for me to write it…it involves blood, and you can’t SHOUT it out.

When my two sons moved out, the load(s) lightened, but then MOTH and I moved to an apartment. Luckily, it does have an in-unit washer and dryer. Not so luckily, they are extremely small, so now I am back to doing as many loads per week as I did when there were four people in the house…maybe even more. (Two bath towels and a hand towel is a full load…and that’s pushing the limits.)

Woe is me.

But then, I visited the Smithsonian American History Museum and came across the following display of how laundry was done in the late 1800s.



IMG_3477Are you still with me? There’s a couple more to go…

IMG_3478IMG_3479And then, there’s this:

IMG_3481Two things. One, if this were still the process, I would never have to go to the gym again (and even if I wanted to, there would be no time). Two, I will never again complain about laundry…except in the case of a complete shut down of the electronic grid, at which time I may well move to a nudist colony. You’ve been warned.



They Like Me, They Really Like Me!


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As you may remember, I follow a mostly vegan diet. I sway a little, usually when traveling, sometimes eating fish or seafood and every now and then an egg. I think the word is spreading among the animal kingdom.

Recently, in Colorado, I befriended a doe…a deer…a female deer. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) I named her Darla and she was a dear. (It’s just too easy…) She was quite friendly and I fed her carrots, although she preferred the salty chips that my sister-in-law offered up. Darla was kind enough to let me scratch her behind the ear.

Darla the mule deer was a dear.

Darla the mule deer was a dear.

The following week, while visiting Washington, D.C., I met this engaging little fellow at the National Mall. I named him Earl, because I enjoy rhyming words when the opportunity arises, especially if it’s challenging. Let’s face it, not many words rhyme with squirrel. As a bonus, should I ever discover that Earl is actually a female, I can change her name to Pearl. He struck a pose when he saw me whip out my smart phone.


Earl the squirrel doing the Vogue thing.

He may or may not have been disappointed when I didn’t feed him, but I like to think that he and Darla were irresistibly drawn to me.They like me because they know I am not going to eat them.

When I Act Like Weird Al


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I often awake with a song in my head, but a few years ago, my sleeping self had put different words to the original tune. I’ve finally gotten around to completing what my subconscious mind started. I encourage parents of young children to add this song to mealtime, in hopes of adding some fun to eating vegetables.

The farmers market is a great place to sing this song with your kids.

The farmers market is a great place to sing this song with your kids.

It’s to be sung to the tune of The Fifth Dimension’s, Aquarius (Let the Sun Shine). If you are unfamiliar with the song, or simply need a refresher, click here to listen.

Age of Asparagus

When the spoon is in the toddler’s mouth

And the tray is lined with toys

The peas are falling to the floor

And angers girls and boys.

This is the dawning of the age of asparagus,

Age of asparagus,

Asparagus! Asparagus!

Broccoli is still outstanding,

Celery and kale astounding,

Not just pizza, fries and nuggets,

Golden beets, Vidalia onions,

Mystic healthy vegetation

Is the body’s liberation

Asparagus! Asparagus!

Eat some veggies, eat some veggies now, some veggies now! 

Eat some veggies, eat some veggies now, some veggies now! 

(Tyna S. Cline © Sept. 4, 2014)

Repeat the last line over and over again, until the kids stop or until you think you’ll croak if you hear it one more time. Then, pick up the phone, call Sesame Street producers and tell them you have a tip for a new writer for the show. I’ll mention your name when I accept my daytime Emmy.


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